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BJP wants Muslims to gift Ayodhya site to Hindus

BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu said the party was committed to construction of temple at Ayodhya and urged Muslims to gift the the disputed piece of land to Hindus.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2003 20:14 IST

Asserting that the party was "committed" to construction of a temple at the "actual" place of Lord Rama's birth place in Ayodhya, BJP wants Muslims to "gift" the disputed piece of land in the interest of national integration and brotherhood.

BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu, at the same time, has strong objection to VHP's attack on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani over the temple issue, maintaining that they were doing everything under Constitution for expeditious resolution of the matter while being committed to the NDA agenda.

BJP believed in no discrimination against any community, Naidu told PTI in an interview in the midst of electioneering in Himachal Pradesh. He attacked the Congress and the Communist parties, accusing them of taking Muslims "for a ride" on the Ayodhya issue.

"Lord Ram is an embodiment of India's culture. As a party, BJP is committed to construction of Ram Temple at the same place where he was born in Ayodhya," the party chief emphasised.

Asking detractors whether anybody had any doubt where Lord Rama was born, he said "it is clear that temple was destroyed and it has to be rebuilt. There is enough historical evidence available."

The BJP President charged the Congress and Communist parties with "using" the issue for "political purposes". "They are taking Muslims for a ride. We hope these parties will take a realistic stand" to help in seeking a solution to the problem, he said.

Naidu asked the Muslim community to "come forward and gift the piece of land for construction of temple to end hostilities and create a goodwill for national integration and brotherhood."

"The Muslim community should think. For them, the place has no importance. But for Hindus, it is important because it is the birthplace of Lord Rama," he said.

Charging the Congress with being "defensive" and adopting "double standards" on Ayodhya issue because of "some vested interests", he asserted that the BJP would "compel" the main opposition party to take a stand on the matter.

He also ridiculed VHP leaders for attacking Vajpayee and Advani over the temple issue. "There is no merit in their criticism of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister as they, being in the government, are bound by the Constitution and coalition dharma."

But the government wants an early resolution of the issue because of which it has taken initiatives for expeditious hearing of the matter in Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court.

However, the VHP is free to organise campaigns and satyagrahas within the limits of law.

On the Hindutva issue, Naidu said BJP was "not apologetic" on it but the party was not using it for political purposes.

He, however, asserted that the Gujarat elections had sent out a "clear message -- that Hindu bashing cannot go on."

"The Congress has confusion, contradiction and convulsion over the Hindutva issue," the BJP chief said and added that if the opposition party committed to "real secularism, it was welcome. Otherwise, it will be exposed and weakened."

He stressed that the BJP believed in "justice for all and appeasement of none".

First Published: Feb 25, 2003 17:16 IST